Crowns and Bridges
What are Dental Crowns?
When a patient has significant tooth decay or damage, a crown is used to cover the tooth and prevent further damage. A tooth with a cavity too large for a filling, a significant crack, or a tooth after a root canal is a candidate for a crown.
At Valley View Dental Care, we use CEREC technology to mill custom porcelain crowns in-house, with shade matching technology to ensure that they blend naturally with adjacent teeth. In addition, because we make crowns in-office, the entire procedure can be completed in one day, rather than sending patients home with temporary crowns and asking them to come back weeks later.
A crown procedure consists of the preparation, which takes about a hour, and then cementation, which takes about 30 minutes. During preparation, any decay is removed to prevent further damage to the tooth, and the tooth is built-up if necessary. Then, the tooth is scanned and a crown is designed. The crown fabrication takes approximately 60 minutes, during which patients are welcome to wait at our office, or grab a coffee across the street. Once the crown is done, the crown is permanently cemented to the tooth.
What are Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth using a porcelain ‘bridge’, which is anchored on either side by teeth adjacent to the gap. The adjacent teeth must be prepared to support the bridge, and then the bridge is fabricated to fit on teeth and span the gap.
Dentists recommend replacing missing teeth because when there is a gap between teeth, the remaining teeth will drift, causing improper bite (called occlusion), which puts excessive wear on remaining teeth, making them more vulnerable to damage. In addition, shifted teeth may be more difficult to clean, resulting in bacteria buildup which causes gum disease and cavities.
A patient may opt for a bridge, rather than an implant, since the procedure is often significantly less expensive, and can be completed in a shorter time frame. However, if you are looking to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth, take a look at our implant page. If you have any questions, we are more than happy to talk to you about the pros and cons of bridges vs. implants. We want each patient to find the right treatment plan for their individual goals and limitations, so feel free to give us a call!
Dr. Eric Barrientos is a restorative dentist who provides quality restorative and preventative dental procedures. He is a specialist in 'one appointment' CEREC technology and one of the leading dentists in Mountain View. To get the best dental services, book an appointment at (650)965-0580.